Today, we’re really excited to bring you a guest post by a guy that we like a lot. His name is Tom Shefchunas. But you might also know him as Coach Shef. Shef is involved with a bunch of things that we think are pretty cool.

Coachshef-headshot-300x420He’s the Middle School Ministry guy at Northpoint Community Church. He used to blog, consult, and coach ministry leaders over at CoachShef.com. He co-wrote the book Lead Small, which we’re kind of obsessed with. He’s launching a brand new project called UthMin.net this spring. And, in April, he’ll be hanging out and speaking at The Orange Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Kenny and I got to know Tom through his ministry coaching program this past summer. We read books together, learned a lot of stuff from him, and spent a ton of time talking about how to become better followers of Jesus, better leaders, and better people. 

Shef’s a great leader. That’s why we asked him to finish up this Refocusing series for us. We’ve already talked about refocusing our ministries and refocusing our volunteers, but today, ministry friends, we’re talking about refocusing ourselves in the new year. Check it out…

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One of my favorite holidays of the year is New Years Day.

I love to reset.
I love to think about the future.
I love to celebrate the past. 

And…I love to set goals for the next year.

One of my least favorite things to do is to match socks.

Seems random right?

Well…as I was doing my least favorite thing on my favorite day of the year it hit me.

Maybe I need to set a goal for these DANG socks!

As I thought about it I realized some things about our socks…

My wife and I both hate to match socks.
We are trying to manage a house with three small kids…and all those socks.
Matching socks, as insignificant as it seems, is a daily reality in our house.
We have never had a conversation about how to keep the socks straight.
And…the most interesting thing… We have never thought about having a conversation about socks.

Why is that? Is it that it is too simple to talk about? Does it seem below us? Does it seem we should focus on the bigger flashier goals for our family?

Maybe we should talk about this!

So…this year, we’re gonna set a goal to conquer our socks.  

Sounds insignificant doesn’t it?

Well…it’s not.

When you set a goal to conquer a simple every day annoyance, you do something very significant.

You set a simple goal you can achieve right away…something I really like!
You set a goal that frees your emotions from a daily annoyance…which is great for your own health.
You set a goal that creates more options for your other goals…your bigger goals.

Think about it…one conversation about socks could save us a few minutes a day.  That few minutes a day can add up to 30 or so minutes a week…which adds up to a couple of hours a month…which is a full day in 2013 to do something else…something big!

On top of that…that daily annoyance becomes part of the rhythm of the day.

My friend Jeremy Lee loves to say; “automate what annoys” and I think he’s right on this one.

So…this year….what is it for you? What are the little things that nag you every day?

Think about your ministry…

  • What are the simple problems you can solve simply by thinking about it?
  • What are the daily annoyances that have never crossed your mind to work on… the things you’ve never before thought about solving?
  • What is it that is a weekly annoyance for your volunteers? What is really no big deal but would be simple to solve? (You’ll be surprised at how much they appreciate it when you work on the little things for them.)

Make these little things part of your goals list and put them right up there next to the fancy shiny exciting goals. In the end, you may never really know just how important matching socks can be to your effectiveness in 2013…but at least your socks will match!

What about you? What are those little problems that you’d like to solve, or little things you’d like to automate, in 2013?